Monday, March 21, 2011


Don't these pictures make you thirsty? I started salivating as I posted them, and they were just as good as the look, trust me. The other night my sister and I had sister date night so I finally took her suggestion and tried Mercadito for the first time. She's been here a couple times, but I've been avoiding this place - why? I'm not really sure. When it comes to Mexican I'd rather go to a dive than a dressed-up tourist attraction and I guess I categorized this place as the latter. It's really not so bad. In fact, the restaurant itself is very fun. It's lively, great music, attractive ambiance and clientele (not to mention the several suited up men prancing around, oh la la).

Onto the food.

 So we started with a couple of the sexiest margarita's I've ever had. I ordered the traditional (with tequila blanco, grand marnier, lime juice and agave nectar) and my sister got the "misty's sleeve" (which is el tesoro blanco, ginger, hibiscus, valencia orange, chile serrano,  and hibiscus salt). I'm more of a traditional marg drinker so I don't like all the fuss, but her's was amazing. The chile on the side was so tasty I wanted to lick the glass!

We ordered a couple items and quickly realized we ordered way too much. The "granada" guacamole with pomegranate, tomatillo pico de gallo, queso fresco, habaneros was heavenly. I loved the sweetness of the pomegranate's mixed in with the spice. The "callo" ceviche with bay scallops, red grapes, lime-morita broth, and mint had great flavors as well. I liked the sweetness of the grapes with the lime but I could have done with a few less grapes overall. The ceviche came with a very sweet crusty bread that was delish! I could eat that alone.
Then we had a the pollo tacos: grilled chicken, cactus salad, tomatillo salsa, and avocado. What's the deal with not letting us mix them up? That was a let down. We should've stopped there but we also ordered the tampiqueña: rosemary marinated skirt steak,potato-rajas-cactus fundido,  & mole enchilada. Oh man, I really wish we stopped bc that steak was not good at all! I don't know if it was the cut of meat itself or how it was prepared but it felt like eating my shoe. Ugh. So awful. I'm usually not so rude, but I was really disappointed. If we stopped before gluttony took over I would have been so pleased, but the steak really ruined it for me.

After the meal we headed downstairs to the little "VIP" lounge by the bathrooms. It's really cute and tiny and I think they're trying to make it very exclusive. On this particular night there were only a handful of people down here.

I'd like to come back for marg's and taco's maybe with a larger group because the ambiance is so lively. But for a quality meal that's unique, authentic, and fresh I don't think Mercadito hit the mark.

Mercadito Chicago on Urbanspoon

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